Directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert aka Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once is a psychedelic sojourn through the multiverse that stars Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Tallie Medel, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., James Hong, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
As the film begins, we meet Evelyn Quan Wang (Yeoh). She owns a laundromat and is married to the henpecked Waymond (Quan) and they have a daughter named Joy (Hsu). Wang appears to be dissatisfied with how her life has turned out and is highly stressed by the fact I.R.S. agent Deirdre Beaubeirdra (Curtis) is investigating her and auditing her business. As well as the fact her husband is attempting to serve her divorce papers, her bossy father Gong Gong (Hong) has arrived from China, whilst Joy wants her mother to accept her girlfriend, Becky (Medel).
It is whilst in the lift at the I.R.S. building that Waymond’s body is taken over by Alpha Weymond – a version of himself from the “Alphaverse.” He explains that many parallel universes exist. This is because every choice made creates a new universe. The people of the Alphaverse were led Alpha Evelyn. She has since died but not before developing “verse-jumping” technology that allows people to access the skills, memories, and body of their parallel universe counterparts by fulfilling specific conditions. Alpha Weymond explains that the multiverse is under threat, and he needs Evelyn’s help.
What then unfolds is a fresh and unique look at the multiverse that somehow synthesizes the likes of Sliders, The Matrix and Sliding Doors into something unique and appealing for an audience who may feel they have seen it all.
With an awesome cast behind her, Yeoh plays the various Evelyns uniquely, highlighting their similarities and differences, but for me it was Quan who stills the movie from everyone. The former “Shortround” and “Data” manages to shift mind, body and soul as he transfers between the various Weymonds he inhabits. Surely, he must be sniffing an Oscar for this performance?
Verdict: 9/10. A solid film that like the multiverse operates on a number of levels including physical, mental, and metaphorical. The repetitive spin of the washing machines surrounding Evelyn is genius in itself but leads to much more. Every re-watch will reward you with something you missed previously. In a cinematic universe filled with multiverses, it is this one that offers a world we have not seen before. A psychedelic sojourn indeed.